One of Sydney’s most storied sites bursts back to life this week when The Butler opens in Potts Point.
The city’s senior party people with long memories will remember the Victoria Street space – with jaw-dropping harbour views – as Butlers Restaurant, a must-be-seen-at spot in the ’70s and ’80s, when it was presided over by celebrity chef Damien Pignolet.
In 1992 it was reborn as Mezzaluna, a celebrity haunt and, most famously, the scene of the 2005 champagne-fuelled tryst between the late party girl Anna Nicole Smith and then ACP advertising executive Cameron Hoy. Hoy later resigned, amid allegations he had deserted his post to party and submitted enormous expense claims for the shenanigans.
The Butler’s owners, Ben Carroll and Hamish Watts, who gave S this exclusive sneak peek at the new interior, are no strangers to celebrity clientele. Their other venues, Bondi Hardware, The Botanist (Kirribilli) and SoCal (Neutral Bay) have welcomed Sam Worthington, Gerard Butler, Nicole and Antonia Kidman, Georgie Parker, Kris Smith, the Stenmark twins, Kochie, rugby player Adam Ashley-Cooper and many more.
“For a long time it was an amazing restaurant, and people really want the site to come back,” Carroll told S. “A nice connection is that Damien Pignolet trained our chef James Privett. So it brings the story back to where it all began.” The menu, says Carroll, will be French but with a youthful, modern slant. “We want to make French a little more cool, educate people and bring it to that younger audience.”
Above image by Julia Jacque
Original Article here written by Amy Cooper for Sydney Morning Herald